This article is an excerpt from the book, Midway, The Battle That Doomed Japan—The Japanese Navy’s Story, published this month by the U.S. Naval Institute.
Preparations for a counter-strike against the enemy had continued on board our four carriers throughout the enemy torpedo attacks. One after another, planes were hoisted from the hangar and quickly arranged on the flight deck. There was no time to lose. At 1020 Admiral Nagumo gave the order to launch when ready. On Akagi’s flight deck all planes were in position with engines warming up. The big ship began turning into the wind. Within five minutes all her planes would be launched.
Five minutes! Who would have dreamed that the tide of battle would shift completely in that brief interval of time?